“There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.” Thus spoke former President Theodore Roosevelt, addressing the Knights of Columbus at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Columbus Day 1915.
In Roosevelt’s time, the concern was political loyalty. Since ethnic identity became fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s, hyphenated Americans have been seen more as advocates for special interests than as potential traitors. Nevertheless some, to remove any doubt, drop the hyphen. Myron Kuropas’s pioneering 1991 monograph on our people in the United States is titled “The Ukrainian Americans.” The Ukrainian National Association does likewise. “Ukrainian” is simply an adjective describing “Americans.”